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Thursday, September 20, 2018

CB radios legal to use whilst driving


It never has been in Victoria (and most of Australia) illegal to use a two way radio, including Citizen’s Band (CB), amateur radio and other two-way radio systems whilst driving – in motion – despite some media reporting otherwise for over 30 years.

Since gaining my drivers licence in 1996 -and again today, Friday June 22- police have charged this author for the ninth time with use of a mobile phone whilst driving when in fact it was amateur radio.

As in times past, it is simply not worth arguing with a local traffic police officer. It’s easier to wait until court  and representing one’s self ask to approach the bench and hand his or her Honour a copy of the Road Safety Road Rules 2017 ‘the act’ with Part 18’s Rule 300 bookmarked.

Rule 300 regulates the use of mobile phones, GPS and other hand-held communications devices which states (and always has) that a “mobile phone does not include a CB radio or any other two-way radio device.”

Once Your Honour reads Rule 300 of the act the case is dismissed, the Department of Public Prosecutions is reprimanded in court for ‘wasting the courts time’ and I get paid by Victoria Police for the days’ lost income.

Despite reports in The Yea Chronicle on June 22, 1988 – and their recent republication – that “A man was fined $700 plus $12 costs after using a CB radio whilst driving to warn Melba Hwy truck drivers at Glenburn that police were in the area.”

“The man admitted using the CB radio, and the microphone whilst the vehicle was in motion.” [The man never actually broke the law].

It has never been -and still isn’t -illegal to use a CB radio whilst a vehicle is in motion and the man should never have paid the fine.

I thank the police today for not listening because I’ll probably get paid for attending court if the DPP don’t drop the case beforehand.

Unfortunately salacious news reporters without factual information and publishing ‘fake news’ mean most people aren’t aware of the exemption for two-way radios which has been in ‘the road rules’ since the ‘CB craze’ of the late 1970s.

If you’re a two-way radio user I urge you to download the act and carry Section 18, Rule 300 in the glovebox of your vehicle, I do.

Without the exemption for two-way radio our police, fire, SES, lifesavers and ambulance officers among others couldn’t do their jobs properly.

It is not illegal to use a two-way radio whilst driving in Victoria. Never has been.

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